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Old February 8th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #1
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Lights needed for THIS setup (see pics)

Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/5014000

I have asked this question before, but now I have pictures to go along with it. This is for a studio setup where one adult is reading and telling stories to 2 kids.

I have NO lights for this yet, and I need help getting the right quantities and types. I need to use florescent, HMI or CDM lights due to heat conditions. Richard has helped me a lot at Cool Lights and I'd like to get some of those, but I need to know exactly what I should get--hard lights, soft lights, etc?

I have three conceptual layouts numbered 1, 2, 3. Please keep in mind I did these camera shots in 15 mins with absolutely NO REGARD to aesthetic centering, cleaning, moving of things that won't be in the shots, exercise equipment, actual camera locations, lighting, furnishings, etc. etc. etc.... This is to simply provide a quick layout of the space and the conceptual positioning ideas for lighting needed and its positioning.

The pics labeled "room dynamics" is just to get you an overall view of the room size and area to work with for equipment setup. Also, the wide-angle lens really distorts the true dimensions (20X18) , so please overlook that and all the above.

Here are the pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/5014000
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Old February 9th, 2008, 02:13 PM   #2
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I'd take advantage of the windows and arrange the couches and chairs so the light falls directly onto your subjects, in other words, arrange the furniture so your subjects face towards the windows. Add a reflector or two for fill. If you arrange the couches & chairs in the middle of the room, this will give you some distance from the background and make it easier to isolate your subjects light-wise.

Those windows can save you some money. I generally don't recommend work lights, but for very little money, you could turn those windows into a very inexpensive bank of softboxes. Place the worklights outside (where the heat can dissipate easily) and add some curtains. It may turn out the blinds can work just as well. Then consider some fresnels for hard focused spot lighting - hair light, background, accent etc.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #3
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"I'd take advantage of the windows and arrange the couches and chairs so the light falls directly onto your subjects, in other words, arrange the furniture so your subjects face towards the windows."

I second that opinion. Did you notice that the shot from the right side of the room (facing the couch) is the best? That is because the three windows on that side of the room are acting as a big soft key and not fighting the other lighting. The shot from the other side doesn't look too bad with the kids but the man is in a big brown shadow. Also, the bowflex isn't the greatest prop in this scenario.

I would move the couch to the left (as you face it) into the corner so that window acts as a backlight to camera right. You could put a plant back there to fill the area and add dimension to the light passing through the leaves. With the couch in that position, the three windows on the other side are a great big fill. Then, where the TV sits (assuming I had the budget) I would put a 6-bank fluoro like the CL-655 to act as the key or if it is not as strong as the windows at that distance to add some fill and accent from that side.

In that setup you have either the three windows as key or fill depending on the strength of your daylight fluorescent and the window in the left would be behind the couch as a practical backlight eliminating the need to use a boom or hide a light stand in the plant. I would lose the existing practical light as it is the wrong temperature and that big soft bank behind the couch looks a bit odd to me. I might use one tungsten-color lamp on an end table but if a daylight window practical is in the shot a lit lamp might seem superfluous. I would re-arrange the carpet to fit with the couch position and move the TV out of the shot. I guess the camera would end up about where the bowflex sits but with three soft daylight sources you can position just about anywhere to get the shot.

If you really want to go crazy with lighting, you can even put color filtered lights shining in windows to simulate different times of day and moods but three soft daylight sources (adding one daylight light) is really the easiest that looks decent. You can open/close the shades to adjust their relative brightness and add white fabric to bring down the intensity even further if one seems too bright. You can turn off lamps and/or add diffusion if the 6-bank fluoro is too much.

Oh, and the white tube socks on the man stick out. Maybe tan or brown socks would look nicer.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
Oh, and the white tube socks on the man stick out. Maybe tan or brown socks would look nicer.
HAHA!!! You guys crack me up!!! From being on these boards for a while, I saw this coming. That's why I put out the big disclaimer that this is no where close to the final product in any way, but merely for lighting layout discussion! :) It's hard to tell without anyone in the shot. HA! Same with the "bowflex prop," that ain't going to be there! I wasn't going to try to move that thing for a couple of still discussion pictures! :) You guys are so funny.

As far as the windows go and using them for fill, I was PLANNING on closing all the shades/blinds to not allow a lot of natural lighting in. This is going to be a every-other-week show, shot during the year at different times times (sometimes morning, sometimes at night, etc.) So I wanted there to be consistency between the shows, and the only way I can make sure of that is to use the same artificial lighting on every recording. I'd suspect you'd agree, right?

Thanks for all the great comments. I have got huge amount of tweaking to do still with the set and arrangements, etc, but what I really need to get moving on is the lighting equipment and get it all purchased. I was considering this: http://www.pclightingsystems.com/DF/11500-kit.html so I could use it for the story-show and also for some greenscreen work for another set (comments on this?). But I'm afraid that it is too much soft lighting and I need some hard lights in the set too--but I"m unsure of all the quantities, types, etc.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
I generally don't recommend work lights, but for very little money, you could turn those windows into a very inexpensive bank of softboxes. Place the worklights outside (where the heat can dissipate easily) and add some curtains. It may turn out the blinds can work just as well. Then consider some fresnels for hard focused spot lighting - hair light, background, accent etc.
Unfortunately this "set" is on the second floor, so setting the lights outside won't work... However I had never thought of that idea before for a first-store application. Great idea.

Moving them inside won't work for me since I have a situation whereby I need to keep the room as cool as possible, so that's why I'm looking for "cool" lights (florescent, CDM, HMI, etc.). Thanks for the great comments.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #6
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I've got another setup to post here for your review. But taking into consideration all the above posts, I will put the adult in the corner opposite of the exercise machine in the pics and have the kids on two chairs next to each other off to the side of the adult. I'll try posting the pics tonight.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lloyd Claycomb View Post
I've got another setup to post here for your review. But taking into consideration all the above posts, I will put the adult in the corner opposite of the exercise machine in the pics and have the kids on two chairs next to each other off to the side of the adult. I'll try posting the pics tonight.
Hi Lloyd:

Another thing to consider. That couch put right against the walls is going to give you no depth in your composition. I would seriously allocate some $$ for some art department. On camera, all I see are a bare wall and some potted palms.

I go to Ikea and spend $600.00 and I can build a room from scratch, giving it layers (a foreground, mid-ground and background) that I can light and build some depth into. Pictures, sculptures, interesting practical lamps, halogens, backlit bookshelves full of little shiny items, candles in colored glass, anything to give it some life. To me, nothing says low budget/cheap looking like people sitting a couch with a flat color wall and plants with no layering and depth.

Assuming you are using a prosumer camcorder, you need all of the depth you can fit. If I was your DP, I could make this room look amazing, at least it has some room. I assume 8' ceilings? Needs a lot of TLC, props, art direction, etc. What are the kids getting told stories about? That would indicate art direction.

Lighting is the least of your issues at this point IMHO, look at the big picture.

Dan
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Old February 11th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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Point well taken. This isn't close to what the set will be like. I agree with you, and I'm working on that part of it as we speak.

Purely from a lighting stand-point, I would like to know what I should be getting. The studio layout is a long way away. These pics are just to show the overall size, general positioning etc.

In fact, none of the furniture that you saw in the pics is even going to be in the shoot. Nor is the rug.

I just shot it so that people could give input as to the lighting necessary for a video shoot in with this general layout.

I am about 3 weeks away from doing the actual studio design which I will post in the studio section of this site . I look forward to suggestions and critiques.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Hi Lloyd:

Assuming you are using a prosumer camcorder, you need all of the depth you can fit. If I was your DP, I could make this room look amazing, at least it has some room. I assume 8' ceilings? Needs a lot of TLC, props, art direction, etc. What are the kids getting told stories about? That would indicate art direction.

Dan
Oh, and ceiling heights are 9'. And I'm using a Canon XH-A1 as a primary camera and a HV20 as a "B" camera.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #10
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Oh, and ceiling heights are 9'. And I'm using a Canon XH-A1 as a primary camera and a HV20 as a "B" camera.
Depending on what style room you need to design, Ikea is your friend. You can actually find several different styles there, it's not ALL Swedish modern, they occasionally have western, antique and other styles.

To be honest, I don't see how you can decide what lighting to obtain without having your set designed. How will you know what kind of lights to use for all of your props, BG elements, etc.? DO you have a set design drawn out?

Dan
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